Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Facing Giants

It is Tuesday and after a very eventful Monday running errands and generally driving all over town I did eventually make it home and get some sewing done. I decided to throw together a Scrapbuster Block from leftovers in my scrap jar. I am working on practicing my piecing for more complicated quilt squares. Granted, the block itself is not complicated however, when piecing very small pieces I find that lining up all my elements are. Even in my finished project my alignment isn't spot on. Granted it just gives it a scrappy look and the square still came out to the right dimensions but it is something I am going to continue working at until it is perfect. However, I do love how this square came out. Next I am going to use it to practice my free hand quilting. I often liken free-hand quilting to Smaug the dragon from the hobbit: a great and terrible creature that is full of beauty and grace, but will eat your face. Yet, with practice all things are achievable so I am starting small with this little beauty in hopes to prepare me for my next big project.

Speaking of my next big project I have mentally committed to a project that I am sure is going to kill me. The other day my husband came into my sewing room and said that although he is really impressed with my quilts so far he has always wanted a "really big, squishy quilt." This is a desire we both share, I have always wanted a gorgeous handmade quilt for my bed. The only problem is we have a King sized bed, so I explained to my husband that I just can't fit that much material under my little Brother machine (by no fault of its own). So, what did the husband do? What my husband does, he jumps online and starts pricing out Janomes! Crazy man. Although it would be nice to have a new machine I insisted that one project was no reason to buy another expensive piece of equipment (I know I must be insane to talk my husband out of buying me a new machine, I still do not know how I managed to be so practical in the face of Janome glory), and I decided to investigate what options I had for building this piece on my current machine. So, far the best choice seems to be quilt as you go piecing which is a terribly neat idea and has a lot of potential. I have never tried it but really see the potential in completing a project so large as a King sized quilt.

 I had the pleasure of stopping by 35th Ave Vac and Sew yesterday which I have to say is a gem in the middle of Phoenix. Their staff is very friendly and helpful and their fabric selection is amazing! Perhaps, on the pricey side compared to what I usually pay (With fabric I am a bargain shopper all the way) and most prints are $10.99 a yard all day long BUT having ready access to the latest and great print releases without having to wait for an online order or paying shipping can quickly forgive paying full price.

I picked up a gorgeous fat pack of Indian Summer fabrics by Sarah Watson of Art Gallery Fabrics. The pack features all twenty prints in both colorways and I have to say it is probably the most adorable/ colorful fabric I have ever purchased. It caught my eye immediately and I didn't have to do much convincing to myself to buy it, I knew it was perfect for my King sized quilt project. I also bought a couple of yards of Kona Ash for assembling. At the moment I am still in the process of deciding exactly what pattern I am going to use for this project. I am leaning towards log cabins but will continue scouring the internet until inspiration strikes and I am truly ready to get cracking on something so huge!

 I cannot wait to start posting on my progress!

Fresh Poppy Design


  1. paper piecing might make your scrap blocks easier. it gives a firmer, more stable foundation, then you just tear it away when it's all assembled. i plan to make a string quilt out of my scraps, and i'll be paper piecing the strips, because i would quickly lose patience.

    i've never made a quilt larger than a twin, because my machine is limited, too. it has a decent throat, but there's only so much fabric it can handle. if i were to make anything larger, i'd send it out to a longarmer. some are reasonably priced, about 2-3 cents per square inch for basic quilting. i've pinned a few that are local, just in case i ever have an extra $100 for a quilt project.

    1. I have yet to try paper piecing but I have heard some many good things. As for sending the quilt out I always try to move away from that simply because I would have to deny myself any learning experience but then I look at the amazing quilt work longerarmers can do and I am very tempted.

  2. oh, and if your husband is all for upgrading your machine, let him! the thing that would make a difference in quilting a king vs. smaller quilts is the size of the throat. standard machines are all about the same. you'd probably need an industrial machine to get the kind of space you'd need. but if you want to upgrade to something a bit fancier with some bells and whistles including a feed dog drop and needle down feature, there are some totally reasonable machines out there. i have the singer quantum stylist, and i absolutely love it. i'd eventually like to upgrade to something that does embroidery, too, but that's pretty far off. this machine should last me a very long time. i highly recommend it.

  3. Lol, right. The way I see it I could never have too many machines. There are quite a few features that my little Brother doesn't have that I would kill for. The ones you mentioned especially at the end of the day throat size is what is comes down to. Originally I had pushed him for an embroidery machine thinking well, I have a good machine get the embroidery first. But, now that I am looking to do bigger badder quilts I am thinking a more heavy weight sewing machine is priority first. Granted, I have a feeling I will never do a King sized quilt again. If I actually do end up making this a King. Originally the hubs asked for "a really big snuggly quilt" I took that and said well something I could throw on the bed would be great. However, I could do the same in a queen and not kill myself trying to cram a king under my machine or quilt as I go. Especially if I upgrade machines. At the moment I haven't even began cutting. There is just too much up in the air and I haven't even settled on a block pattern yet. I am going through my numerous quilting books and sites looking to fall in love and then hoping that inspires me to quilt something beautiful.


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